How To Find Your Passions In Retirement

We’re all constantly searching for something meaningful to do in retirement. Some may find that a difficult task, but we haven’t much choice but to keep looking. The reality is we have a personal responsibility to move our lives forward. 
A number of life coaches have come up with recommendations for discovering your passions, and I’ve accumulated these below. Some of their ideas might seem a little wacky, but they have been found to work so you might as well consider them. And I’ve also added a few of my own wacky ideas.
Give up what you’re doing now
If how you spend your time is not satisfying, then admit some changes are needed. Otherwise you wouldn’t feel a need to find something that’s more fulfilling.
Go through a university course catalog
Regardless of whether or not you’re interested in taking a class, you might find a topic or two that draws your attention as you flip through the pages, and you can pursue these on your own.
Talk to a life coach
They can take you through the process of identifying your interests, and help you evaluate and prioritize various options.
Talk to your friends and family
They know what you like to talk about, so they have a sense of what turns you on. They can spur your thinking toward a specific field or endeavor.
Pay attention to what you do or think about
Many of the things we dwell on are usually the things we love. If you find that you lose track of time with something you’re thinking about, you’re interested and engaged, and that makes it a passion.
Think like a child
Believe it or not, many life coaches recommend this technique. Think back to the things you enjoyed doing as a kid. For example, if you loved to listen to music, take it up a level — study music at a local college or learn how to play an instrument; if you liked coloring, learn how to paint or get involved with your local art league.

Be willing to experiment
There are no bad ideas in this stage of your development process. So don’t reject something because you think it’s just not you. You might discover something about yourself. For example, I always hated dancing, so I decided to take dance lessons. I did that for about three years, and while it’s not exactly a passion, I actually enjoy it now (even though my wife still thinks I’m pretty bad).​
Have the right attitude
Look at this searching process as an adventure, a chance to learn new things and grow. Don’t feel pressure to get it done right away and don’t be afraid of getting it wrong. Seeing it as a journey can make it a positive experience, and that’s motivating and helps keep you committed.
Discover recurring themes
Take an inventory of things you tend to accumulate, such as books, films, etc. If you’re watching TV or reading, what do you watch or read about? If you go to a book store, what section do you go to? You might notice there are certain themes that attract you. 
Keep a list
Write down the things that seem to strike you as enjoyable and worth pursuing. This is a work in progress, so keep adding to your list as ideas occur to you.
As I said, this isn’t easy. Discovering your passions won’t happen overnight and you probably won’t have a “eureka” moment.  That’s important to keep this in mind because a lack of initial success can lead you to quit.
But you can get there if you stick to it, and you’ll be happier and have a more satisfying life for having done so. Using time constructively is one of the surest ways to achieve emotional well-being and a sense of personal self-worth. Giving up, on the other hand, will leave you with a “life sucks” attitude and that can make you miserable, and probably the people around you.
This is just the first step. In a follow-up article, I’ll get into how you can implement your passions into action.
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